Alcohol is a teratogen, a substance that can harm a fetus. When a pregnant woman drinks, alcohol passes through her blood and enters the fetus through the placenta. Its harmful effects may be seen in virtually every part of the fetus, including the brain, face, heart, liver kidneys, eyes, ears and bones. The fetus’s immature liver and neurological systems are less capable of metabolizing the alcohol than a mother’s systems. FAS effects are toxic and affect a person for life. (Outcomes can range from: Death, miscarriage, malformations, growth deficiencies, and functional deficits)
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Prevention www.samhsa.gov (2007)
Parents of children with disabilities often describe anxiety over the future security of their children when they would no longer be able to provide care. (Foster, Kozachek, Stern, & Elsea, 2010; Heller, Caldwell, & Factor, 2007; Kenny & McGilloway, 2007; van den Borne et al., 2006).
Statistics Regarding The Age of Woman
Age Group 35-44 vs. Age Group 18-24
• 7.6% of pregnant women (1 in 13) and 51.5% of non-pregnant women (1 in 2) reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days
• Among pregnant women, the highest estimates of reported ALCOHOL USE were those who were:
Aged 35-44 years (14.3%) White (8.3%)
College graduates (10.0%) Employed (9.6%)
• 1.4% of pregnant women (1 in 71) and 15.0% of non-pregnant women (1 in 7) reported binge drinking in the past 30 days.
• Among BINGE drinkers, the average frequency and intensity of binge episodes were similar, about three times per month and approximately six drinks on an occasion, among those who were pregnant and those who were not. (18-24 year group)
Source: CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), United States, 2006-2010.
- Poor growth (womb /after birth)
- Difficulty nursing or eating
- Abnormal facial features
- Failure to thrive
- Mental Retardation
- Tremors, seizures
- Behavioral Problems
- Excessive irritability
- Developmental Delays
- Limb Reduction
- Heart defects (hole)
- Skeletal defects (fusing)
- Vision & Hearing defects
- Dental abnormalities
- Small head size
- Low Body weight
- Shorter-than-average height
- Sleep problems
- Later in development behavior challenges
- Poor coordination, decreased muscle tone
- Hyperactive behavior
- Difficulty w/attention, poor memory (Later Years-Secondary)
- Difficulty in school (math) Mental health issues
- Learning disabilities Inappropriate sexual conduct
- Speech and language delays School truancy
- Intellectual disability or low IQ Trouble with the law
- Poor reasoning and judgment skills Difficulty maintaining a job
- Poor social delays Substance abuse
- Difficulty with impulse control Assistance -money
- Challenges with boundaries Assistance -daily living skills
Protecting Children From Developing Secondary Conditions
- Talk to your pediatrician discuss finding an early diagnosis (before age 6).
- Provide a stable and nurturing home.
- Protect the child from experiencing any form of violence.
- Stay put! Try to remain in the same location or living situation for at least 3 years.
- Children need to experience a good quality home between the ages of 5 to 12 years.
- Talk with your local board of disabilities to see if your child may be eligible for services.
- Talk with your child’s physician about establishing a diagnosis of FASD so that you will have
- options or solutions where you can better meet your child’s basic needs.
Recommended Intervention Strategies For Families
Poor Social skills Pair your child with a child 1 or 2 years younger
Problems with tasks Create a stable, structured home with clear routines
Irritability, agitation Talk with the pediatrician as medicine may be helpful
Over stimulation Keep the child’s environment as simple as possible
Problems processing Use calming techniques to help child focus and relax
Behavior issues Discuss consequences, use repetition, be consistent
Implement Daily Routines
- Create and enforce simple rules and limits
- Be cautious in using rewards to reinforce acceptable behavior (limited memory)
- Guard against their being taken advantage of by others
- Teach them skills for daily living and social precautions
- Carefully choose whom you ask to care for your child